workforce, Colonial Life, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, insurance, education, community, contribution, employer, employee, benefit, benefits, benefit administration, benefit administrator, life, health, accident, long term disability, workers compensation, planning, The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial, accidental, voluntary, communicate

Building Tomorrow’s Workforce

Government agencies face an uphill climb in attracting younger generations to civil service.

 

Some of the aspects that once made public sector jobs attractive — including defined benefit pension plans and health coverage — are being scaled back. At the same time, the private sector is upping its game with more lucrative offers, flexible work schedules and the opportunity for remote employment — all things millennials care about.

 

So what can budget-strapped agencies do to compete for the best talent and create their workforce of the future?

 

The Governing Institute and Colonial Life partnered on a guide for state and local government leaders. “Building Your Public Workforce of the Future” was created through interviews with leaders throughout the country.

 

Download the guide by clicking the image below.

 

Colonial Life, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, insurance, education, community, contribution, employer, employee, benefit, benefits, benefit administration, benefit administrator, life, health, accident, long term disability, workers compensation, planning, The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial, accidental, voluntary, communicate

 

About Colonial Life

The BeneChoice Companies is a Colonial Life & Accident Insurance provider.

Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company is a market leader in providing financial protection benefits through the workplace, including disability, life, accident, dental, cancer, critical illness and hospital confinement indemnity insurance. The company’s benefit services and education, innovative enrollment technology and personal service support more than 90,000 businesses and organizations, representing more than 3.8 million of America’s workers and their families.

 

Highest regards,

Stacia

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Colonial Life, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, insurance, education, community, contribution, employer, employee, benefit, benefits, benefit administration, benefit administrator, life, health, accident, long term disability, workers compensation, planning, The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial, accidental, voluntary, communicate

Are You Causing High Turnover?

5 things you do that cause high employee turnover

For me and, after talking to other small businesses, for others too, employee turnover is a huge issue. When you only employ a handful of people, if one of them leaves it creates a real hole. And that’s before you even get started on the cost of replacing them and the productivity issues and lower morale caused by others having to cover their work. So the more we, as businesses, can do to keep our top talent, the better, right? But how?

While it will probably come as no surprise to hear that base pay is still top of the list of drivers for both employee attraction and retention, the good news is that many of the things we can do to reduce turnover are relatively simple to implement. The even better news is that most of them needn’t cost a fortune.

Obviously, you can’t retain 100% of your staff (although it would be nice if we could). But you can start to think about trying to change some of the things that may be causing high employee turnover. Here are five things that employees cite as things their employers do that cause them to quit and some thoughts and ideas on how to avoid them.

Being a horrible boss

With 28% of employees saying they would rather have a better boss than a $5,000 raise, it’s clear that a good boss is something employees rate highly. But what is being a good boss all about?

While different people are likely to have differing opinions on what makes a good boss – for some the human element is most important, whereas for others it could be their boss’s ability to push them to achieve new things – I think there are several characteristics that are universal in good bosses.

When I think back to my first few jobs, how much I liked and respected my boss played a huge role in how high my morale was and, ultimately, how long I stuck with the company. Looking back, for me, “liking” my boss was about me trusting him or her and all the things that go with that: being treated with respect, knowing my manager had my back, being listened to and encouraged, being treated as an adult (I’d had a couple of positions where my manager thought I was their child!) and not being micro-managed.

Interestingly, according to a 2015 Society for Human Resource (SHRM) survey, being a good boss may not be as complicated as we may think.

  • Respectful treatment of all employees at all levelstopped the chart as the leading contributor to job satisfaction. Nearly three-fourths (72%) of employees deemed this aspect to be “very important” to their job satisfaction.
  • 64% of employees reported thattrust between employees and senior managementwas “very important” to their job satisfaction, making it the second highest contributor to job satisfaction.

In my experience, strong leaders inspire hard work, and good managers who are open and honest and listen to thoughts and opinions tend to run effective teams.

Oh, and don’t underestimate how far a bit of recognition goes – everyone likes a shout-out for a job well done. Some people may like a public shout-out, while others may prefer a quiet “thank you”. Knowing your team is what it’s all about.

What is the difference between being a good and an amazing boss? Tune in next week.

Highest regards,

 

Stacia

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Colonial Life, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, insurance, education, community, contribution, employer, employee, benefit, benefits, benefit administration, benefit administrator, life, health, accident, long term disability, workers compensation, planning, The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial, accidental, voluntary, communicate

Benefits: 10 Key Take Aways

Over the last several weeks we went over the no or low-cost ways to make your company a great place to work. We went over many tips on what you can do right as far as offering benefits to your staff to make them want to work with you and your company. 

We talked about:

  • Why you need to look after your employees
  • Good leadership
  • Creating the right environment
  • Challenges, training and development
  • Employee perks
  • Company benefits
  • Choosing the right benefits
  • Communicating benefits correctly
  • Ways to get benefits wrong

In a nutshell, here are 10 most popular takeaways from this series on benefits.

  1. It pays to make your company a great place to work. Although base pay is still vitally important, it is not the only thing talented employees are looking for.
  2. Good leadership is vital. 27% of people who don’t trust their managers, don’t plan to stick around.
  3. Workplace culture starts at the top. To created a culture of communication, collaboration, fun and respect, the boss has to lead by example.
  4. Millennials rank training and progression opportunities as a top reason to stay in their job.
  5. Flexible working is a popular perk and could improve your employees’ productivity.
  6. Voluntary benefits enable you to offer attractive benefits at no or low cost.
  7. The benefits employees want are dependent on their circumstances and their outlook – so flexibility is key.
  8. Company-offered benefits such as accident insurance and hospital indemnity insurance can fill in the gaps in health care coverage.
  9. With paid time off plans and incentives to reduce unscheduled leave, offering paid leave can be a cheaper and more realistic option for small businesses.
  10. By effectively communicating benefits to your employees you help them understand the value of offering, which helps them get the most out of it. Voluntary benefits providers can help with this.

 

Highest regards,

 

 

Stacia

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Colonial Life, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, insurance, education, community, contribution, employer, employee, benefit, benefits, benefit administration, benefit administrator, life, health, accident, long term disability, workers compensation, planning, The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial, accidental, voluntary, communicate

Communicate Your Benefits Effectively

For employees, understanding their benefits can be intimidating. It takes a whole lot of math – probabilities, prices, copays and deductibles — not to mention trying to weigh up the other options outside of what their employer o ers. So what do they really need to know? And how can you help?

 

Make sure staff know the value of their benefits

To get the credit you deserve for sta benefits, you need to communicate effectively about what you’re offering.

 

Not many people could accurately tell you what their health care package costs their employer. Not many know that, on average, their benefits package makes up just under a third of their compensation (31.7%).29 The better employees understand the value of their benefits, the more likely they are to judge their employer as a good place to work.

 

Help people get the most out of their benefits

Most employees don’t feel informed. They don’t feel comfortable making decisions about their benefits. It’s especially a problem for people with lower household incomes. And that means they don’t make the most out of the benefits offered to them.

 

Giving people reading material doesn’t work unless they’re already engaged and enthusiastic. More likely, that email will be deleted, or the booklet will end up forgotten under a pile of paperwork. Combining these methods with more direct benefits communication is usually the most effective option.

 

Keep your staff informed. Do your employees know the value of their benefits?

 

Highest regards,

Stacia

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Colonial Life, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, insurance, education, community, contribution, employer, employee, benefit, benefits, benefit administration, benefit administrator, life, health, accident, long term disability, workers compensation, planning, The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial, accidental, voluntary

What Is Your Retirement Plan?

A good retirement plan can be the difference between a comfortable old age and slipping into poverty – yet one in four U.S. working adults has no retirement savings.

 

More and more employees are looking ahead and wondering what their future holds. Less than half of workers are confident they’ll be able to retire when they want.

 

48% of millennials expect their 401(k), 403(b) or IRAs to be their primary source of retirement income.

 

Workplace retirement plans are the major way that people save successfully. Without a workplace retirement plan, fewer than 10% of workers contribute to retirement savings on their own.  It’s not just older workers who care about retirement.

 

90% of millennials and Generation X employees and 87% of baby boomers all believe that a 401(k) plan is an important employee benefit.

Government assistance and tax credits

According to the IRS, small businesses may be able to claim a tax credit for some of the costs of starting a retirement plan if:

  • You had 100 or fewer employees who received at least $5,000 in compensation from you for the preceding year.
  • You had at least one plan participant who was a non-highly compensated employee.
  • In the three tax years before the first year you’re eligible for the credit, your employees weren’t substantially the same employees who received contributions or accrued benefits in another plan sponsored by you, a member of a controlled group that includes you, or a predecessor of either.

 

Take a look at the IRS website or talk with your tax advisor for full details.

Highest regards,

 

Stacia

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Colonial Life, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, insurance, education, community, contribution, employer, employee, benefit, benefits, benefit administration, benefit administrator, life, health, accident, long term disability, workers compensation, planning, The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial, accidental, voluntary, paid, parental leave

Do You Offer Paid Parental Leave?

Parental leave has been a hot topic in the United States in recent years with the federal government starting to offer paid parental leave and San Francisco becoming the first U.S. city to mandate full paid parental leave in Spring 2016.

 

However, only a minority of America’s workers have dedicated paid parental leave according to the the Paid Family and Medical Leave Fact Sheet produced by the United States Department of Labor.

 

Most have to patch together different types of paid leave if they want any time to recover from childbirth and bond with their children. It means that even if they do come back to work, they’ll be struggling to manage parenthood without any sick leave or vacation time remaining, which isn’t healthy for them or your company.

 

While offering paid parental leave may not be right for every business – and small businesses in particular understandably have concerns over the cost implications – it is worth weighing the pros and cons carefully.

 

If you make paid maternity available, it’s more likely that a mother will come back to her job after the birth of her child, according to the Office of Management and Budget of the US Government, saving you recruitment and training costs down that line. In addition, if moms are returning to work soon after their child is born due  to financial pressures, there is a risk that they’ll be distracted and less productive. Offering some paid leave could help ensure that whey they do return, they are fit for work and at their most productive.

 

And it’s not just for mothers.

 

All parents benefit from time off to bond with their child. It can lead to better health for the child, a better family life, reduced stress and increased happiness and productivity.

 

Highest regards,

Stacia

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Colonial Life, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, insurance, education, community, contribution, employer, employee, benefit, benefits, benefit administration, benefit administrator, life, health, accident, long term disability, workers compensation, planning, The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial

Know What Coverage Options Benefit You and Your Team Most

When choosing coverage for your company, there are many factors that you need to keep in mind.

Colonial Life, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, insurance, education, community, contribution, employer, employee, benefit, benefits, benefit administration, benefit administrator, life, health, accident, long term disability, workers compensation, planning, The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial

  • Should your coverage include families?
  • Should your benefits be offered to part-time workers?
  • What demographic works best for you and your team (Millenials, Baby Boomers and Generation X)?

 

It is always important to think about how the benefits you want to offer will fit with factor such as the key objectives of your business, what competitors are offering to their employees, the budget you have to work with (are you going to fully fund these coverages, share the cost with your employees, or make your employees solely responsible to fund them), and the wants of your employees. Most employee demographics today span a wide range of generations.

 

Another important thing to consider is what millenials are looking for in coverage as opposed to Generation X.

 

To explain this further, Millenials have a lot of the same values as the older generation, along with benefits that will help with the balance of work and other aspects of their lives.

 

Some of these coverages include, paid leave, retirement plans and parental leave.

 

On the other side of the spectrum, Generation X looks for an employer who will fill the gaps in regular coverages they already have.

 

They ask themselves about the “what ifs” in life, things that will require immediate attention; not later in life like Millennials. Coverages they look for include, hospital indemnity insurance, life insurance, accidental insurance, and disability insurance.

 

Once you know the coverage options you want to offer, it is important that you consider the legal matters, large mistakes can result in large penalties and greatly affect your ability to offer benefits to your employees.

 

Follow these rules, and you will come up with the perfect package to not only benefit you, but your employees and their families as well.

 

Warm regards,

 

Stacia

Colonial Life, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, insurance, education, community, contribution, employer, employee, benefit, benefits, benefit administration, benefit administrator, life, health, accident, long term disability, workers compensation, planning, The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial

The Complications Of Offering Company Benefits

With 77% of workers saying the benefits package is an important factor in their decision to accept or reject a job, it’s clear that, even for smaller companies, offering a competitive employee benefits package is a must.

 

Consider your last job interview. Did you consider the company benefit package as part of your total compensation or did you just expect that you’d be offered that?

 

The larger price tag that can come with offering some the more conventional benefits, such as health care and life insurance, and even softer benefits such as pet insurance and concierge services, can understandably be a major barrier for a number of companies.

 

There is always a way around this.

 

Voluntary benefits – at no cost to you.

 

Voluntary benefits are benefits that are offered by the employer through the workplace. To suit their budget, employers can choose whether or not they are 100% employee-funded or partially funded by both employee and employer.

 

Many employers offer them in addition to their core employee benefits package, to enable employees to enhance their coverage where they feel they need it most. Employers who are unable to offer core benefits often offer voluntary benefits to provide their employees financial protection in key areas. Either way, voluntary benefits can provide an employer a competitive advantage when it comes to benefit packages.

 

81% of employee say they buy voluntary products because of the convenience of purchasing at work.

 

Right now, voluntary benefits make sense for a lot of reasons:

  • They can help fill in the gaps in health care coverage caused by high co-pays and deductibles.
  • For a diverse workforce, the element of choice means they can handpick benefits that best suit their lifestyle, needs and budget.
  • They pay benefits regardless of any other insurance coverage employees have in place, including policies available through government health care exchanges.
  • They let you offer attractive benefits at no or low cost to your company.

 

Highest regards,

Stacia

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Colonial Life, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, insurance, education, community, contribution, employer, employee, benefit, benefits, benefit administration, benefit administrator, life, health, accident, long term disability, workers compensation, planning, The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial

Keep Your Staff – Employee Perks

As you sit at your office and think about all of the other things you’d rather be doing or the things you would like to make your job or workplace more enjoyable, jot them down. I’ll be asking you in a minute for some feedback on how some employee perks could make your life better. If I don’t cover what you want, feel free to give your suggestions below.

 

When it comes to keeping and retaining talent, a few simple perks can increase productivity and overall happiness. Some only cost a few dollars, and some are completely free.

 

Think about offering such things like:

  • Break-room cookies and meeting treats
  • Free lunch once a month
  • Picnic tables outside where people can gather
  • Firepit
  • Bring your pet to work day
  • Holiday decorations
  • Casual Fridays, or a general no tie policy
  • A game room – if you can’t afford a ppo table, try a second-hand game console
  • Happy hour (for employees who are not driving!)

 

The biggest thing you could offer…and it is a big one…flexible working.

 

Flexible working means scheduling a doctor’s appointment without needing to take a sick day. It means the ability to take that evening class, or pick up the kids from school one day a week. It costs you nothing and it can mean the world to your employees.

 

Flexible working can include:

  • Working from home one or more days a week
  • Allowing employees to work a compressed work week
  • Job-sharing arrangements
  • Working a reduced schedule as part of a phased retirement plan

 

80% of employers reported an improvement in productivity as a result of a flexible working plan.


Remember you list? Look at it and tell us what we’ve missed. We’d love to know what kind of employee perks you would like (if we didn’t mention them here)?

Highest regards,

Stacia

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Millennials Want Your Investment

If you were to ask a Millennial what is their number one thing they want in a company? They would tell you a great training and development program.

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Why would this be? Well a Millennial is focusing now just on having a job now but what opportunities will allow them to move upward into leadership roles. Most millennials today are concerned about their contribution to the whole. They do want the skills to make them successful now but they are looking for workplaces that they can be loyal to today and in the future.

 

I opened this with what Millennials want but come to think of it, that is what all generations want. They want to be developed. They want to know that they belong. They want to know that they have something to contribute. They want to know that they have a home in an employer group.

 

When you give employees the space to be innovative it can create a win/win for the employee and the business.

 

Colonial Life did a survey and 78% of all employees report they would stay with their current employer if they knew there was a career path they could follow.

 

  • Have conversations. Development should be discussed annually at every performance evaluation and at every review in between
  • Ask your people what development looks like to them and how they’d like to grow.
  • Let your employees decide what skills to develop.
  • If you can, give them a budget and freedom to choose their own courses – except for underwater basket weaving of course.
  • Tell people what they can work towards – promotions, responsibility, project management
  • Reward people for taking initiative.
  • Ask your team for their suggestions and proposals.

 

Earning their loyalty will not only bring you new and innovative ideas but it will build their trust as well.

 

Highest regards,

 

Stacia

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